Buntzen Lake

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The land around Buntzen Lake is owned by BC Hydro. Is is a source of hydroelectric power but also as an attractive recreation area for public enjoyment. To add to your enjoyment of the area, BC Hydro provides the following facilities:

  • picnic tables, shelter and grass play areas
  • cartop boat and canoe launch areas and dock
  • Canoe rentals are available at the Anmore Store located on Sunnyside Road. Call 604 469-9928 for rentals
  • hiking, mountain biking, equestrian and nature trails
  • developed viewpoints and interpretive displays
  • parking and equestrian staging area
  • designated area for dogs
  • drinking water
  • pay phone

Overnight camping is not allowed.

For additional information, see the information page on Buntzen Lake on BC Hydro Website.


To get to Buntzen Lake from the Barnet Highway, take the Ioco exit and follow Ioco Road to the left. Turn right on First Avenue and continue to Sunnyside Road. Turn right again and continue to the Recreation Area entrance gate. An alternative route from the Ioco exit is to follow straight through on Heritage Mountain Boulevard, which continues north of Parksville Drive as David Road. Turn left at Forest Park Way. Turn left onto Aspenwood Drive connecting to East Road. Follow East Road to its end. Turn right at Sunnyside Road, and continue to the entrance gate. Parking lots are located about 2 km past the entrance gate. Note, parking is on a first-come basis only. When parking lots are full the entrance gates will be closed for the day. No re-entry is permitted.

Gate opening and closing times change throughout the year. To find out the current times, please call the Buntzen Lake Warden's office at 604 469-9679.

Buses operate from Coquitlam Centre to Buntzen Lake daily. Normally this bus stops at the turnaround before the recreation area entrance gate. It is a 1.8 km or 15 to 20 minute walk to the South Beach area. During weekends and holidays from July until September 5, the bus will continue all the way into the South Beach area. For bus schedules and information, visit the Translink web site.

Hiking Trails

Trail Map of Buntzen Lake

Halvor Lunden (Eagle Ridge) Trail The Halvor Lunden (Eagle Ridge) Trail is comprised of the Lindsay Lake Loop, Swan Falls Loop and Dilly Dally Loop. The trailhead is located on Powerhouse Road, near the southeast corner of the South Beach parking area.

Lindsay Lake Loop
Hiking time: 6–8 hours return. Distance: 15 km. Elevation gain: 1020 m.

This route is recommended for experienced and fit hikers only. The trail to Lindsay Lake is the most popular of the three loops along this trail. Climb to El Paso Junction, then turn left and cross Buntzen Creek. Passing through the ancient mountain forest you will encounter several spectacular viewpoints overlooking Vancouver. At Lindsay Lake Junction (at the north end of Lindsay Lake) turn right and head south through the "lakes district" back to El Paso Junction. Return to the main parking area along the same trail you started on.

Swan Falls Loop
Hiking time: 8–10 hours return. Distance: 20 km. Elevation gain: 1150 m.

This route is recommended for experienced and fit hikers only. It is very steep in places. Follow the trail to El Paso Junction, and then choose either the left or right trail to Lindsay Lake Junction. If you choose left, you will see Eagle Ridge's best remaining old-growth forest as well as passing several viewpoints of Vancouver. A right turn will take you through the "lakes district" with its many beautiful tarns. Continuing north from Lindsay Lake Junction, ascend Mt. Beautiful (Eagle Peak) for a panoramic view of Mt. Baker, Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, Coquitlam watershed, Mt. Seymour Park, Indian Arm and beyond. At Swan Falls Junction turn left and follow the steep (and sometimes slippery) trail down to Powerhouse Road, which then leads you back to South Beach.

Dilly Dally Loop
Hiking time: 10–12 hours return. Distance: 25 km. Elevation gain: 1150 m.

This route is recommended for experienced and fit hikers only. The Dilly Dally Loop? Don't believe it! Dilly dally along this trail and you'll be spending the night. If you're up for it, you are rewarded with spectacular views as you travel through high mountain forests. Be sure you have the whole day and note gate closure times. Follow the directions for the Swan Falls Loop to Swan Falls Junction. Continue north along the ridge to Dilly Dally Peak, then follow the trail and access road back down to Powerhouse Road.

Buntzen Lake Trail
Hiking time: 4–5 hours return. Distance: 8 km. Elevation gain: 100 m.

Circle Buntzen Lake and enjoy the beautiful views of surrounding mountains. Starting at Buntzen Creek Bridge at the east side of South Beach, the trail leads north, passing several lake access points and viewpoints. After a short section along Powerhouse Road, the Buntzen Lake Trail resumes at the North Beach picnic area. From here, cross the suspension bridge to continue along the Buntzen Lake Trail or you can return along Powerhouse Road for a shorter, easier hike. The trail takes you through open areas underneath the powerline, through mature forest, across several bridges, then finally opens up onto Pumphouse Road. Follow this road south to the floating bridge across the southwest arm of Buntzen Lake. Cross the bridge and follow the trail back to South Beach.

Energy Trail
Hiking time: 30 minutes return. Distance: 1 km. Elevation gain: 15 m.

Looping around the wooded knoll southwest of the South Beach boat launch, this trail passes through a variety of forest landscapes and past attractive views of Buntzen Lake. Look for interpretive displays along the way.

Diez Vistas Trail
Hiking time: 6–8 hours return. Distance: 7 km (one way). Elevation gain: 460 m.

This route is recommended for experienced and fit hikers only. Spanish for "ten views", the Diez Vistas Trail is aptly named. Offering spectacular views of Vancouver's waterways and mountains, the Diez Vistas Trail commences near the floating bridge. Travelling uphill into the forest, cross the powerline and pipeline and continue along a series of switchbacks until the trail forks. The left trail leads to a viewpoint overlooking Indian Arm and the right leads to a view of South Beach and across to Eagle Ridge. After reaching the high point where the trails reunite, you travel along a forest trail that terminates at a BC Hydro service road. Keep right and follow the service road and transmission line (the Old Buntzen Lake Trail) back to the Buntzen Lake Trail, where a left turn will take you to the suspension bridge leading to North Beach. From here, follow either Powerhouse Road or the Buntzen Lake Trail back to South Beach.

Equestrian and Mountain Biking Trails

Originally constructed and maintained for equestrian use, most of the following trails are open to hikers and mountain bikers as well. Some sections of these routes were constructed as trails, while other portions follow old logging road tracks and power line rights-of-way.

Mountain bikers are permitted on access roads, transmission line roads, the short trails linking the two parking areas with the floating bridge and on the trails to Sasamat Lake and Eagle Bluff. Mountain bikers are requested to obey all posted signs. Bear Claw/Saddle Ridge/Horseshoe Trails

Leading steeply up the mountainside into the cool, dark cedar and hemlock forests that blanket the slopes around Buntzen Lake, these trails form loops with Powerhouse Road and the Lakeview Trail and provide access to the Diez Vistas Trail and the trail to Sasamat Lake.

Lakeview Trail
Hiking time: 5–6 hours return. Distance: 6 km (one way). Elevation gain: 150 m.

Portions of this trail are very steep. Equestrians and mountain bike riders should only use this trail if experienced in steep mountain terrain riding. Providing an alternative route along Buntzen Lake's western shore, this trail weaves its way along Pumphouse Road from the main entrance gate, then connects with the transmission line heading north before slipping into the dense forest that enfolds Buntzen Ridge. The trail ends where it joins the Old Buntzen Lake Trail near North Beach.

Academy Trail
Hiking time: 2–2.5 hours (one way). Distance: 4 km. Elevation gain: 100 m.

The Academy Trail begins at the main entrance gate and extends north through a fern-filled forest parallelling the main access road to the equestrian parking lot. The trail then follows Rogue Creek to an open transmission line access road that joins with Powerhouse Road about halfway to North Beach.

Old Buntzen Lake Trail
Hiking time: 45 minutes (one way). Distance: 1.5 km. Elevation gain: 20 m.

Before the suspension bridge was built, this trail portion completed the loop around Buntzen Lake. Follow the transmission line north where it leaves the Buntzen Lake Trail. This leads you to a concrete water intake building. Here the trail cuts through the forest, joining Powerhouse Road immediately northwest of the dam.